Labour has won the Midlothian Council election, with seven councillors elected, the SNP took six seats and the Conservatives five, although we now have to wait to see who takes over the administration with no party getting the ten seats needed for a majority.
Labour group leader Derek Milligan told the Advertiser that his party could have won overall power if not for “national politics”.
With regards to who will form a coalition to lead Midlothian Council he said: “I think the people of Midlothian have spoken loud and clear. There are now three clear parties and it is up to us to all work together.
“We will discuss what we will do, we genuinely believe all the political parties have to put their political differences aside and start fighting for the people of Midlothian on issues that are important locally, such as the lack of doctors and infrastructure in the county, that’s what matters.”
While Midlothian MP and former Midlothian Council leader Owen Thompson (SNP) said: “We will need to take a bit of time to analyse the result. Overall we are down a couple of seats.
“We will continue to work on local issues, everyone knows that’s what we stand for, it’s now a case of seeing what the other parties stand for.”
With the first five wards returned all split between the Conservatives, Labour and the SNP it was Dalkeith that decided the final outcome, with two Labour councillors and one SNP councillor elected.
Midlothian South result - The three councillors elected are Jim Muirhead (Lab), Catherine Johnstone (SNP)and Keiran Munro (Con). Bryan Pottinger (Lab) loses his seat with the Conservatives gaining their first ever councillor in the ward.
Penicuik result - The three councillors elected are Andrew Hardie (Con), Adam Montgomery (Lab) and Debbi McCall (SNP). Big shock here as Provost Joe Wallace (SNP) loses his seat.
New councillor Andrew Hardie (Con) tells the Advertiser of his delight at being elected as the first Conservative councillor for Penicuik in 25 years stating: “It’s clear that the people of Penicuik and across Midlothian have voted for change.”
Bonnyrigg result - Elected - Derek Milligan (Lab), Janet Lay-Douglas (Con) and Diane Alexander (SNP). Disappointment here for the Greens with it’s only councillor Ian Baxter missing out this time.
Midlothian West result - Elected - Pauline Winchester (Con), Kelly Parry (SNP) and Russell Imrie (Lab).
Midlothian East result - Elected - Peter Smaill (Con), John Hackett (Lab) and Kenneth-James Baird (SNP). Independent candidate Robert Hogg narrowly missed out on being elected.
Dalkeith result - Elected - Colin Cassidy (SNP), Stephen Curran (Lab) and Margot Russell (Lab).
So the Dalkeith vote swung it for Labour.
However, with no party achieving the magic majority mark of ten, there is no outright leading party in Midlothian. Negotiations are now expected between the parties over the coming days to decide who shares power.
Labour - seven councillors
SNP - six councillors
Conservatives - five councillors